Africa takes charge of its health

(Ecofin Agency) – E-health, screening training, African foundation for pharmaceutical technology supported by the AfDB, here is an overview of health news in Africa this week.

AfDB to establish African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation

This week, the African Development Bank gave the go-ahead for the creation of the African Foundation for Pharmaceutical Technology. The Board of Directors of the pan-African institution based in Abidjan has validated the creation of the structure, which aims to improve the continent’s access to the technologies that underpin the manufacture of drugs, vaccines and other pharmaceutical products. .

The AfDB pledges to spend at least $3 billion over the next 10 years to manufacture pharmaceuticals and vaccines on the continent.

“This is a great step forward for Africa”according to Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB Group. “Africa must equip itself with a health defense system, based on three main areas: the revival of the African pharmaceutical industry, the strengthening of African capacities for the manufacture of vaccines and the establishment of health care infrastructures. quality health in Africa. »he added.

The news is welcomed in particular by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), led respectively by the Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Ethiopian Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Ghanaian startup mPharma launches new product for African pharmacies

Ghanaian startup mPharma, specializing in health technologies, is launching Facility Insights, a data processing tool through its Bloom platform, and intended to help partner pharmacies understand the various data related to pharmacy operations and management. “Today’s pharmacies suffer from two diametrically opposed problems. Either they lack the data they need but don’t have the tools or training to get it, or they have an overabundance of data but don’t know how to use it to make better decisions. Facility Insights is a key tool for solving these and many other gaps in the pharmacist’s data set. With key reports in place, it will be entirely possible to have access to actionable insights and enable our pharmacists to provide the best care possible. », said Dan Shoukimas, Product Director of mPharma. The module is supposed to help pharmacy owners by providing them with personalized information to help them solve their operational challenges and make better decisions regarding the management of their pharmacy. Facility Insights has now launched in more than 300 pharmacies in Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi and Rwanda, according to the company.

Monkey pox: Africa CDC trains 20 countries in screening

This week, the Africa CDC (Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) launched the first of a series of hands-on trainings on the diagnosis of monkeypox virus (MPXV) by real-time PCR.

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The three-day session, which began on June 28, was held at the National Reference Laboratory of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja, Nigeria and saw the participation of 20 representatives from 20 Member States of the African Union (AU): Benin, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Zambia, as indicated by the Pan-African health agency. “Africa CDC will continue to support Member States in building their capacity and ability to detect and respond to disease outbreaks. Recently, we called for more support to Member States and better access to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines to limit the spread of MPXV. MPXV training and distribution of test kits are key to expanding MPXV surveillance across the continent. »said Dr. Ahmed Ogwell, Acting Director of Africa CDC.

WHO: monkeypox not considered a global public health emergency

After an expert meeting last weekend, the WHO concluded that the disease that has been in the news for several weeks, alongside the declining Covid-19, is not considered a health emergency. public of international scope. This being, “the emergency committee shared deep concerns“. While the current global outbreak of monkeypox is a health threat whose evolution is very worrying, it has not yet reached the stage of a global health emergency, according to the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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To date, more than 3200 confirmed cases and one death have been reported to WHO by around 50 countries where the disease is not endemic this year. On the African continent, according to the Africa CDC, which urges countries to remain vigilant against monkeypox, there are more than 1,800 cases and 73 deaths in 2022. Nigeria, the most populous country in the area, reports remains an upsurge, the number of cases of which could eclipse the peak observed in September 2017.

Uganda: scabies epidemic affects more than 1,000 people

Ugandan authorities are reporting this week that more than 1,000 people in sixteen villages in Hoima district are struggling with a new outbreak of scabies, according to Outbreak News Today. If the skin disease, due to a mite and characterized by itching is generally benign, it can nevertheless prove to be problematic and contagious in immunocompromised subjects, the elderly, disabled or weakened people. Scabies is easily treated with ointment or oral medication.

Food insecurity in the Horn of Africa: the WHO is active and speaks of an “imminent health crisis”

The WHO, worried about food insecurity in the Horn of Africa, warns of an “imminent health crisis”. In a press release issued yesterday, Thursday June 30, the UN agency announced that it would intensify its operations in East Africa, in the face of “acute food insecurity”, caused in particular by conflicts, extreme weather phenomena – in particular the worst drought in 40 years – the rising international food and fuel prices and the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

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“The cost of inaction is high”

According to its figures, more than 80 million people in the region are at risk and are resorting to desperate measures to feed themselves and their families, and there are cases of high acute malnutrition, especially among children.

“The cost of inaction is high”said Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response. “While the top priority is to prevent people from starving, we must simultaneously strengthen our health response to prevent disease and save lives”he added.

Ayi Renaud Dossavi


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